Proportional Representation - made easy
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Proportional Representation and Pacifica
This is a digest of information designed to familiarize the reader with the Proportional Representation method (particularly Single Transferable Vote/Choice Voting) of electing representatives to a governing body which is referred to in various drafts of proposed Pacifica bylaws. Proportional Representation was used in the "KPFA Model" of elections for their 2 station board elections. It is being used successfully around the world to increase the diversity and fairness of elected governing bodies.
With Proportional representation/choice voting, all diverging positions within a community are represented in proportion to their voting strength. That all perspectives can be represented in the decision-making process of that body echoes the mission of Pacifica. [www.wbai.net/bylaws/bylaws_mission_statement.html] This strengthens the community's trust and confidence in the elected board, and increases the motivation for the community to fight to preserve and protect the interests of the community (Pacifica).
Included in this document:
Many relevant documents and links may be found at: http://www.wbai.net
From: KPFA LAB election FAQ's:
Pizza Version from www.fairvote.org:
HOW PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION ELECTIONS WORK
There are many systems of proportional representation. The system discussed here, referred to as choice voting is considered to be the most just, the most democratic. It is also known as the single-transferrable ballot method or as the O'Hare method.
How it works.
Proportional representation/choice voting was the method used to elect the selectmen to New England town councils.
All the candidates for the seats on the council lined up along the edge of the town green. All the voters stood in lines behind their first-choice candidates. If a first-choice candidate had enough votes to win a seat on the town council, the candidate was considered to have been elected, and all the extra voters moved over to the lines behind their second-choice candidates. This shuttling back and forth continued until all the seats on the council were filled.
The number of votes required to fill a seat ("threshold") is determined by the number of voters voting. It is calculated by dividing the number of votes cast by the number of seats to be elected plus one and adding one to that calculation.
If there are l00 voters and 3 seats, l00 is divided by 4 (3 seats plus l), which equals 25. Add l to 25 (26). 26 votes are required to fill each of the 3 seats.All voters mark their ballots by numbering each candidate in order of their preference, marking their first choice with a "l", their second choice with a "2", and so on, until the entire ballot is complete.
All votes for first choice are counted. If any candidates receive the required number of votes (26 in the above example), they are considered to have been seated. Any extra votes are redistributed to the voters' second-choice candidates. If those second-choice candidates have already been seated, or are seated by the influx of new votes, the extra votes are redistributed to the voters' third-choice candidates, and so on, until all the seats are filled.
After all excess votes have been redistributed, if any seats remain to be filled, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated from the running, and that candidate's votes are redistributed to each voter's second-choice candidate. If this redistribution seats more candidates, their excess votes are redistributed, until as many seats as possible are filled and as many votes as possible are redistributed. This entire process is repeated until all the seats are filled.
Diagram of Ballot Transfer Process
[ Chart from article by Douglas J. Amy - How Proportional Representation Elections Work: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/polit/damy/BeginnningReading/howprwor.htm ]
FROM PROPOSED PACIFICA BYLAWS DRAFTS
From Proposed Pacifica bylaws A and B:
All elections for Delegates shall be by written ballot, provided, however, that the elections supervisor shall also have the option of providing a secure electronic means of voting via the internet. Members shall only have the right to vote for Delegates for the Foundation radio station with which the Member is affiliated. Members shall vote in classes: Listener-Sponsor Members shall elect 18 Delegates for each radio station and Staff Members shall elect 6 Delegates for each radio station, for a total of twenty-four (24) Delegates for each Foundation radio station. Elections of Delegates shall be staggered over a 3-year period with elections for 3 Staff Delegates and 9 Listener-Sponsor Delegates held in the first year, elections for 3 Staff Delegates and 9 Listener-Sponsor Delegates held in the second year and no elections in the third year. The ballots shall be counted by the Single Transferable Voting method. All ballots related to the election, and the removal, of any and all Delegates shall be filed with the Foundation Secretary and maintained with the corporate records for a period of three (3) years.
The Delegates for each radio station shall meet
annually in late December or early January to elect
four Directors to represent that radio station on the
Board. The Delegates of both classes of Members,
voting together, shall elect three Listener-Sponsor
Directors using the Single Transferable Voting
method, and shall elect one Staff Director using the
Instant Runoff Voting method [a form of PR used when filling only one seat], to represent that radio
station on the Board. The Staff Director must be a Staff
Delegate. The Listener-Sponsor Directors must be
Presented by the Coalition for a Democratic Pacifica - New York.
website: www.wbai.net hotline: 212-465-7562
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